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Logitech UE: Another $400 Apple AirPlay speaker hits the market

Logitech's first AirPlay speaker has finally arrived, and it costs a little more than we were hoping it would.

Merging brands: The "UE" in Logitech's UE Air Speaker stands for Ultimate Ears.

Back in October of last year we told you about how Logitech was on the verge of releasing its first Apple AirPlay-compatible wireless speaker. Well, it took a little longer for the product to hit the market than we thought, but now it's officially arrived.

Rumor had it that the speaker would simply be called the Logitech Air Speaker. Alas, Logitech has gone with Logitech UE Air Speaker. The "UE" stands for Ultimate Ears, a brand known for its headphones that Logitech bought a few years ago. But unlike the Beats brand, the average consumer will have no idea what UE actually means, so the move is a little bizarre.

The Logitech UE features a hideaway iPod/iPhone dock (click to enlarge). Logitech

We were hoping the speaker would be more affordable, coming in at less than $300, but the list price is $399.99. Though prices have dropped a bit for AirPlay-compatible speakers in recent months, that $400 price is still par for the course for midrange models. Logitech's AE also incorporates a hideaway iPod/iPhone dock that pops out of the front of the speaker.

In case you've never heard of AirPlay, it's built into Apple's iOS for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and it allows you to stream audio to an AirPlay-enabled device such as Apple TV and a host of speakers and AV receivers that are trickling out onto the market. AirPlay uses your Wi-Fi network to stream audio and it offers higher fidelity than Bluetooth. AirPlay also enables wireless video streaming, but right now Apple TV is the only device that supports it.

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